Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Just Discovered Downton Abbey

I just discovered Downton Abbey. Ever heard of it? Funny. :) It's not that I'd never heard of it -- I'd just not had the opportunity to immerse myself in early Edwardian England. Wowsers.

I'm still trying to put my finger on WHY Downton Abbey has become all the rage across television. Even young adult males are enamored with it. Although I can't say the same for my husband who is currently watching bow hunting while I rev up my laptop dvd player to start Season 2 of DA.

Is the dresses? The hats? The castle? The food? The butler? The footman? The lady's maid? The snipey sisters? The snarky grandmother? Ok. The snarky grandmother kills me. I love her.

There's a few things I noticed with Downton Abbey that I find interesting: Virtue was still desired, rank was important even among the servants (who knew there was a service hierarchy?), women really did support their husband's beliefs even if they weren't their own, and love was born out of duty as often as it was just love.

Capturing an era of romance, war, and history. I can't figure out if Downton Abbey is a glorified soap opera or a work of art?

What are your thoughts? Have you succombed to the Downton Abbey drug?

41 comments:

  1. It's Maggie Smith's one-liners that get me the most. They are always spot on and priceless!

    I think one of the other things that's made it popular is it's just such an anathema. Doing things out of duty or respect or because it's the right thing to do even when you don't feel like it? That's pretty alien to a culture that seems to thrive on the "do whatever makes you feel good right now" mantra.

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    1. If I can be HALF the Maggie Smith when I'm old, I'll be a happy snarky old lady :)

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    2. The one-liners are the best there is I think!

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  2. Maggie Smith--I totally agree Kara! This week's best was "Oh sorry, I thought you were the butler." Priceless, classic Maggie!

    In our culture you might find the rare person who CHOOSES to do something out of principle whether they feel like it or not, whereas in this bygone era they were EXPECTED to do so--which always makes one wonder about the true condition of the character and motivations behind the choices.

    Also, I'm intrigued by how the laws dictated the handing-down of wealth from one generation to the next, making or breaking those affected by its dictums.

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    1. Good points Anne and Kara! I never thought of it like that!!!!!!!!! I may have a Downton Abbey blog post #2 coming as I think about this ...

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    2. They've only just changed the succession law in England so that Will and Kate's first child will be crowned, as opposed to the "hey, too bad you're a girl" stuff that has stood for like, a 1000 years. Give or take.

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    3. Really? Will and Kate get EvERYTHING they want. So not fair. ;)

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  3. I succumbed by hooking up the Netflix and online DVD and chasing the dragon until I couldn't inject another bit. Which means, I now have to jones until season 4, since I watched season 3 with the English. And I watched the Christmas special on Christmas Day with tea...which was nice.

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    1. "And I watched the Christmas special on Christmas Day with tea...which was nice." Oh you did, did you?? I may have acquired the same knowledge as you, Lady Jessica of ...where do you live? I shant uttah aword, eye-thah.

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    2. Lady Jessica of Braggart Cottage. Really?!?!? How did you get ALL of Season 3 with the Brits? And Christmas special? Are we privy to secret information. I beg of you, share with your fellow man or be at the mercy of our scorn. ;)

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    3. Nor will I Lady Jennifer of Canada. I am from MS! lol

      Jaime, I am a fan of the US FAN Page for Downton Abbey on FB but listen to me, if you go on there you will get SPOILERS from season 3 that you DO NOT WANT TO SEE.

      Isn't that so, Lady Jennifer?

      Anyway this site posted the links for each episode. And I alas, clicked on them!

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    4. Or try megashare.com

      Also when I watched season 2 it was online at PBS. Don't know if they still have it up or not.

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    5. Utterly true, Lady Jessica! I cannot stress enough the importance of self control in this mattah!

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    6. I find it a bit offensive that they would add spoilers, don't you? I mean, I don't spoil things why should they? *Jaime summoning best snarky Granny voice*

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    7. And I'll bet you Miss Jessica, might perhaps be the type to peek into chapters you haven't read yet? Anyone else here confess to that? cheating?! Hmmm.

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  4. I've never seen it...but I'm finding it a bit hard to resist these days! =)

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    1. Just close your eyes in episode one - they always have to throw in something nasty but the rest of the season seems to be ok... :)

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    2. Good to know! =) I think after we move I'm going to to enjoy catching up on this lovely show.

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  5. It's sooo good! My husband and I were trying to figure out why it's so addicting...but it is! He likes it too.

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    1. I know! It's like a drug. I'm at work and I snuck in the second season dvd to watch over lunch!

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    2. "snuck in"? Hahaha!! That is priceless, Jaime! My first thought was a security guy going through your bag "Yo, MA'am, ya can't watch dis stuff hee-yah, we don't allow cul-chah".

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    3. They DON'T allow culture! C'mon, I live in Wisconsin--we're all rednecks here. :P That's probably where the REAL fascination comes from in the Midwest ... culture. What's that?! ;)

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  6. Oh PAH-LEEEEZE!! Stupid Matthew and his "I can't save Downton with Lavinia's money, t'wood be awkward!"
    What a stupid....oh, heh. Sorry. I'm fine. It's fine. We're all fine.

    Ahem, I watch if for the antiques. And Maggie Smith.

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  7. You know...I've been asking myself the same question in regards to the glorified soap question, Jaime! You brought up some good points about values still being um...valued???! :) I LOVE all the intrigue, costumes, etc etc...

    I detest the heavy homosexual stuff personally. Bummer. I detest heterosexual promiscuity too so I guess that is the same...I mean one can sorta overlook the implied stuff but the open stuff is harder...I get hung up on the "put nothing wicked before ones eyes" bit...I just don't know...back 'n forth, back 'n forth...I mean, this stuff is what REAL life is made of, kwim?! So, in that sense, it's refreshing to see the characters lives and see them working through all of that...

    Somedays I LOVE it and some days I question, kwim??! :)

    Anyhoo... ;)

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    1. at least it's not glamorized as "cool" but as something that has repercussions (as in Lady Mary's case). But, yes, conundrums

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  8. Hubs and I love it! I think it's the clothes, the castle, the attitude, the division of the classes, the drama...it has it all.

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  9. I love the characters, they have story :)

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    1. LAYERED story! That's what I love about it! :)

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  10. Wellll....where have I been for so long? Just happened to come across it clicking through the channels when I had escaped to the quiet of our bedroom while hubby was watching all the noisy bowl games. What have I done to myself? Now, I've a new addiction - this series - and I'd love to know what happened in series 1 & 2! The problem I have is understanding British...I do have a hearing problem, but come on....now I need to find out if I can find the closed captions button on the remote...if we have one. LOL... Please continue these fun discussions on this series, Jaime, great idea. Oh, I did recognize Shirley McClaine and thought her characterization of the American mother-in-law was well done. At least I could understand her American accent. I agree with Anne about the best line being Maggie Smith's "I'm sorry I thought you were the butler." Yes, I've just discovered Downton Abbey and I can't wait for next Sunday's episode.

    In Christian Joy,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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    1. Oh Barbara - you HAVE to watch episodes 1 & 2!

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  11. I'm loving these comments!!! LOL I'm totally addicted to DA, too! I watched the first episode (season 3) with millions Sunday night and sighed the whole time. Then, as if it wasn't enough to watch it once, I watched my recorded version the very next day. :) I gotta say, I'm getting tired of the Mr. Bates story though. I think he's getting wicked on us. I also like to daydream about which class I would have been born into...had I been born 100+ years earlier. :)

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    1. Well of course you would have been born with the respectable affluent class along with myself. We wouldn't have been able to socialize otherwise and that, dear lady, would be a travesty.

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    2. You do realize I'm Canadian, which automatically makes me part >royal<. Yes, wave with the hand towards me and nod at all the common underlings.

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    3. So, which character do you think you would have been?

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  12. Since you asked LOL: Here's why I think it works: http://blog.caraputman.com/2013/01/downton-abbey-does-it-live-up-to-hype.html

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  13. Loved the blog post, Cara, it means more now I've watched DA! :)

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  14. Hi Jaime -

    This sounds like a fun, interesting program. I'll have to see if it's running on my local PBS station.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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